Bologna, Italy
City population: 380027
Duration: 2011 – 2015
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Meso-scale: Regional, metropolitan and urban level
Project area: 34 m2
Type of area: Public Greenspace Area
Last updated: October 2021

The project focuses on the conservation of a locally rare plant (Dictamnus albus L.) and the community of its natural pollinators. At present, European natural populations of Dictamnus albus are declining because of the scarcity of pollination service; in addition to this, suitable habitats (woodland fringes and clearings) are becoming rare due to land-use changes as a result of the abandonment of traditional agro-sylvo-pastoral activities. This project assesses these issues by re-introducing and monitoring the plant in its natural habitat while re-establishing a suitable habitat for the plants and their natural pollinators (1).

DICTAMNUS LIFE09/NAT/IT000212 (2012)
Photographer: Francesca Rovetti, retrieved 07/27/2018 from Marta Galloni


Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Large urban parks or forests
  • Other

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design


Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, Knowledge creation and awareness raising, Monitoring of habitats and/or biodiversity

Project objectives

The main objectives of this project (LIFE09/NAT/IT000212) are to ensure the persistence of an isolated population of Dictamnus albus, located in a protected area (Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell’Abbadessa) included in the Natura2000 network (pSCI IT4050001) by re-creating an ideal habitat for the plants to thrive, and to restore the community of its natural pollinators (1).

Implementation activities

At the beginning of the project the habitat will be managed in order to establish the best environmental condition for the future persistence of the target plant population. Two wood clearings of 16 square meters have been identified as suitable habitat for D. albus, and cleared in order to stimulate future plant reproduction. During the first year (March-Sept 2011), seeds of other nectariferous species were collected, planted and germinated (Sept 2011- March 2012) at the Botanic Garden of Bologna (University of Bologna) in order to obtain adult individuals available for the following plantation. These plants were used to assure the presence of effective pollinators introduced in the target area. For all the duration of the project, the fitness of the plant and the presence of its effective pollinators were monitored; pollinator insects in the target area were also monitored, to evaluate the impact of the intervention on the pollinating fauna (1).

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Restore species (native, endangered, or unspecified)
  • Restore valued species
  • Restore ecological connectivity

Main beneficiaries

  • Researchers/University


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Researchers/university

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

Three institutions are involved in the PP-ICON project: Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna as Coordinating Beneficiary (Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Botanic Garden – Sistema Museale d’Ateneo), Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura(CRA, Unità di Apicoltura) and Fondazione Villa Ghigi as Associated Beneficiaries (1).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Yes (LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity (LIFE09/NAT/IT000212) supports projects that contribute to the implementation of the EU’s “Birds” (79/409/CEE) and “Habitats” (92/43/CE) Directives, the “Natura 2000” network of protected areas, and that contribute to the EU’s goal of halting the loss of biodiversity (1).)
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown


Total cost

€500,000 - €2,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • EU funds
  • Private Foundation/Trust

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget
  • Donations

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of labour
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Citizens (e.g. volunteering)

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased number of protection areas
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased number of species present
  • Increased protection of threatened species
  • Enhanced support of pollination
  • Increased ecological connectivity across regeneration sites and scales

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Improvement in people’s connection to nature
  • Increased awareness of flora and fauna as culturally and historically meaningful
  • Increased appreciation for natural spaces
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports


Availability of a web-based monitoring tool



DICTAMNUS LIFE09/NAT/IT000212 (2015)
Photographer: Laura Bortolotti, retrieved 07/27/2018 from Marta Galloni
DICTAMNUS LIFE09/NAT/IT000212 (2013)
Photographer: Francesca Rovetti, retrieved 07/27/2018 from Marta Galloni